Stop Those Annoying Pop-Under Ads

by Dave Atkins on August 2, 2010

in Essay,Technology How-To

I thought, when I switched over to Firefox a long, long time ago, I had left behind the indignity of the whole pop-up ad banner. Perhaps I simply began visiting fewer porn sites (just kidding!). But whatever the reason, I began to notice that when I shut down my browser I would find half a dozen additional windows open–mostly containing ads for Netflix.

Now Netflix was a great idea in the late 1990s–I was a charter customer. But I think video-on-demand and just plain market saturation has driven them to scrape what they can from the remaining customer pool by running these incessant, annoying red pop-under ads that get around the built-in pop-up blockers. As my laptop began to slow down, I suspected these ads were consuming resources and decided to shut them down.

To my pleasant surprise, I found a voluntary opt-out process that did not require installing or purchasing a pop-under-plus-blocker. Here’s how I found it–so you can repeat on other responsible media networks.

First take a look at the ad:
Netflix pop underI noticed the url of the ad began with http://cdn.optmd.com – which sounded to me like it was probably “Content Delivery Network” of something…so I went to http://cdn.optmd.com to see what was there.

I found “Optimax Media Delivery” a website with a lot of dense copywriting rationalizations and a video about the horrors of a boring Internet without advertising…but then, in prominent bold text, “CLICK TO OPT OUT.” Awesome. What judge ordered that as part of a settlement deal? Just do it. This will set a cookie–a GOOD COOKIE–on your computer that will tell optmd.com not to pop under any more ads for you.

All snarkiness aside, this is a breath of fresh air of responsibility, ethics, and accountability in the world of online advertising. But after you click that opt-out button, you will see this dire warning:

WARNING: by choosing to opt out you are taking an active position not to support the publishers whose websites you visit and whose content you consume free of charge. In doing so you threaten the long-term viability of their operations.

How dare you!

Update: No sooner had I killed those ads than I found more ads appearing from Casalemedia. To opt out of these annoying ads, go to http://casalemedia.com/optout/.

{ 1 comment }

Tom Wade August 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I did the ‘just do it’ opt out. I then exited firefox and discovered the following 4 cookies:
1. addthis.com
2. casalemedia.com
3. davewrites.com (I guess this one is yours. What does it help you or me?)
4. optmd.com

Which cookie(s) do I need to keep? I tried keeping ‘optmd.com’ only and got another Netflix pop-under within seconds of restarting firefox.

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